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Why County Sheep? – The Importance of Sleep

Connection between sleep and mood, weight, and pain

The connection between sleep and mood, weight, and pain – West Chester, Allentown, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Newark, Wilmington, and Milford, Delaware based Telehealth Counselor- Therapist Paula Tropiano

 

Do you suffer from depression or have an unstable mood, problems with your appetite, weight, or chronic pain? If so, how much sleep do you get per night? – Probably not much or as much as you need.

 

Did you know that 1 in 3 Americans do not get enough sleep?

 

According to a new study in the Centers for Disease Control ( CDC: More than 1 in 3 Americans are sleep-deprived – Sleep Education) more than a third of American’s are not getting enough sleep – That’s probably no surprise to many of us as in our modern lives it seems to be tough to get enough sleep. Some may be able to get by with a bit less sleep at least on occasion but, health and mental health conditions tend to highlight the importance of quality sleep all the more.

 

In my telehealth counseling practice in Pennsylvania and Delaware, I work with many clients with mood difficulties, depression, bipolar disorder, or dysthymia. Often, they are getting just a few hours per night. Five or six hours just isn’t enough. Sleep is critical to our mental, emotional and physical well-being.

 

I often hear that people do not have time to sleep or cannot sleep – Either way, lack of sleep impacts our ability to function safely and effectively. This is especially important for those managing mood problems. Sleep is medicine in and of itself and enables that recharging and repair inside to happen – It also lowers our stress.

 

How can we expect to feel well and perform through the day if we do not sleep well enough at night?

 

Quite a few “sleep deterrents,” as I call them, contribute to ongoing sleep problems.

 

Some of these include:

 

– Staying up too late surfing online instead of going to bed.

– Completing procrastinated tasks

– Catching up on work emails or projects.

– Texting, emailing, and social media activity.

– Watching television and “tuning out.”

– Eating too late with no time to digest.

– Anxiety and worry about the next day or “life.”

 

Technology is a big culprit! Without solid boundaries, it steals time and can interfere with self-care. It also creates an illusion of connection between people, and we are social creatures – We tend to get drawn in!

 

Shutting off all technology about 1-2 hours before bedtime is essential – television. Replacing technology with pleasant music, aromatherapy, candles, or some other soothing sense-based ritual can be helpful – And, of course, to do them repeatedly over time.

 

It takes time to learn to calm down and wind down.

 

There needs to be time to prepare for sleep – This is called sleep hygiene. These daily and before-bedtime habits set the foreground for healthy sleep. It is about creating a mindset of rest.

 

Being aware of the impact of sugar, caffeine, and alcohol on the ability to sleep is crucial – reduce your intake of all of them and know that caffeine ingested earlier in the day may keep you up at night. Also, that technology is stimulating and has a more significant effect on the ability to sleep than we might think.

 

Making small changes now can improve your overall health. Sleep is connected to mood and is as important as food!

 

I’m a collaborative, skills-based counselor. I work with adult clients to increase their awareness, build the skills and resources they need to be more resilient and stress-hardy, and better manage themselves, their relationships, and problems more effectively.

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